A lot of the focus when discussing the Patriots’ offseason is on the players they can get, whether it’s in draft or free agency, or those already on the roster that need to be extended because of the vital role they play. However, at the end of the day, both the salary cap and number of roster spots are finite, and the Patriots can’t keep everyone. Moving on to 2023-24 without these three players will be the best course of action for the team.
CB Myles Bryant
There were certainly times that Bryant had a key role in the defense and having played in 61% of the Patriots’ defensive snaps, losing him would change the framework of the secondary. However, that change would likely be for the better. With so many snaps, almost all of them matched up against second or third options, Myles Bryant only having one interception and six deflections is simply insufficient.
Most importantly, he allowed catches on over 75% of his targets, and a lot of his catches were via poor coverage in big moments. Beyond the statistics, it was obvious looking at the tape that he was overmatched any time he was put up against a speedy receiver. Simply put, he is more of a liability than an asset on the field. For sure, in Jalen Mills and Jones trio (Marcus, Jack, Jonathan), the Patriots have four corners better than Bryant, and perhaps a fifth with Shaun Wade. They should look in the draft to bolster their secondary’s depth, but Bryant himself isn’t the answer there.
WR Nelson Agholor
There’s no doubt that Nelson has his upsides. He’s fast and generally a good route runner. He’s at times been extremely successful, both in Philadelphia and Las Vegas, and in his prime, showed traits of a number one receiver-type player. Furthermore, he is one of the most experienced players on the roster, including in critical games and playoff situations.
However, with the Patriots, there have been more questions about Agholor than answers. In two seasons, he has had less than 900 yards and just five touchdowns. The recurring problems that have plagued Nelson over the years – fumbles and drops – resurfaced at unopportune times for the Patriots. With only being sixth on the team in receptions and yards, Agholor simply doesn’t add enough for his stature and playscale.
Furthermore, his skillsets are covered. Guys like Meyers and Bourne have excelled for the Patriots as reliable, sure-handed receivers who are especially good in short-midrange routes. For the explosive plays, speedster Tyquan Thornton, Devante Parker are a brighter future, and for additional deep threats, the Patriots should look the way of a truer #1 receiver in free agency.
Letting him sign elsewhere in free agency would open up considerable cap room for the Patriots and would allow more space for the currently promising receiver core to develop and increase their role in the offense.
RT Isaiah Wynn
Wynn may be the best right tackle that the Patriots currently have, and when they took him with their 2018 first-round draft pick, the team certainly saw something in him. However, this year’s Patriots’ right tackle rotation has been historically bad. The Patriots’ offensive line as a whole has been a talking point around the NFL, but most games, with the promising Strange, the elite Onwenu and the ever-solid David Andrews, their issues aren’t in the interior.
The edges were the leakiest part of that line, a line that allowed Mac Jones to get sacked 34 times (41 sacks allowed for the whole team), failed to properly block for run, and most egregiously, rarely gave Jones time to execute his plays. Isaiah Wynn was arguably the main issue there. Whether it was penalties that kept the Patriots behind the sticks, or poor blocking, either via bad technique or a poor read, that significantly shortened the plays, Wynn hurt the team more often than not.
In addition to all this, he is injury-prone and comes with a high price tag. The Patriots simply need a revamp at tackle, whether through free agency or the draft, and Wynn is not part of that answer. And, to the end of accomplishing a proper revamp, neither are Conor McDermott or Marcus Cannon.
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